Swahili Resources

All about language programs, courses, websites and other learning resources
Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2354
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
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Swahili Resources

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:50 am

Swahili on the Language Forums
Most people would not classify Swahili amongst the more popular foreign languages to study. Although, at the time of this posting, there is not even a single discussion thread in this forum wherein the word “Swahili” appears in the title, this language has been referenced in well over 200 logs and blogs addressing other matters. The situation is quite similar on the HTLAL. There are a few discussion threads wherein which the study of this language is discussed; however, for the most part, the situation is similar to that of the LLORG: a bit of chatter, but no Swahili Profile and no list of Swahili Resources. The major online booksellers’ websites contain numerous short courses, phrase books, grammars, et cetera that I have not bothered to include in the list below.

Swahili Language
Swahili, also known as Kiswahili (translation: language of the Swahili people), is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and south-eastern Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Comorian, spoken in the Comoros Islands is sometimes considered to be a dialect of Swahili, though other authorities consider it a distinct language. The exact number of Swahili speakers, be it native or second-language speakers, is unknown and a matter of debate. Various estimates have been put forward and they vary widely, from 100 million to over 150 million. Swahili serves as a national language of four nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the DRC. Shikomor, the official language in Comoros and also spoken in Mayotte (Shimaore), is related to Swahili. Swahili is also one of the working languages of the African Union and officially recognised as a lingua franca of the East African Community. South Africa legalized the teaching of Swahili in South African schools as an optional subject to begin in 2020. – Source: Wikipedia

Swahili language – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swahili_language

Discussion Threads

Mikonai’s Swahili Log
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=9891

SGP’S Beyond Beginner’s Swahili Log
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=9428

Why do so many people learn Swahili? – HTLAL – April, 2012
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=31171&PN=37&TPN=2

French vs Swahili usefulness in Africa? – HTLAL – July, 2007
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6526&PN=1

Swahili Resources: GENERAL
There exists a fairly wide choice of introductory courses, guide books, phrase books, dictionaries, grammars, and the like for Swahili. I have listed what many members would recognize as the works of the better-known publishers of foreign language courses and study guides. In addition, there are a few remote publications that I found on the U.S. Government’s E.R.I.C. website. I am left with the impression that, by working with a selection drawn from the DLI/FSI, Assimil, and Living Language materials, along with a grammar, a conscientious independent-learner could acquire an A2-B1 level in Swahili on which to build through the astute use of native-language resources.

Swahili Resources: LEGACY

DLI Swahili Basic (1966) / DLI Swahili 12-Week (1963)
None of the (a) Yojik, (b) Live Lingua Project, or (c) JLU-Archives websites have a DLI Swahili Basic course posted. Nevertheless, at least a portion of the PDFs for these courses are available on the ERIC website. These would have been audio-lingual courses. There are a few offers on eBay for DVDs which “might” contain the DLI Swahili Basic course, but ordering a copy would be truly buying a pig in a poke.
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=5&id=ED026651
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=3&id=ED034206
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=6&id=ED032546
http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=19668&PN=73

FSI Swahil An Active Introduction (2nd ed., 1968) - Indakwa, J. et al
https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu/languages/FSI/fsi-swahili.html
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=8&id=ED010460
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=4&id=ED012901

Linguaphone Swahili (1950’s)
There are a few traces on the internet of a Linguaphone Swahili course from perhaps the early 1950’s which may have been an authorized reprint of Teach Yourself Swahili. As far as I can tell, the audio files would have fit on a single audio cassette. Although the course is out-of-print, earlier this year, Linguaphone U.K. announced that it was prepared to sell copies of its courses going as far back as the 1950’s, presumably digitized.

Peace Corps Swahili (1994)
The Yojik hosts a Peace Corps Kiswahili course: regrettably, no audio compent. The ERIC website hosts, or makes references to, additional Peace Corps files for this language.
https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu/languages/PeaceCorps/Kiswahili.html
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=8&id=ED402760
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=6&id=ED402737
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=4&id=ED206167
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=6&id=ED206168
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=6&id=ED206170

Spoken Swahili (1979) by Anthony J. Vitale - Spoken Language Services
254 half-sized pages, 6 audio cassettes, embryonic audio-lingual method.
https://www.amazon.com/Spoken-Swahili-Language-Anthony-Vitale-dp-0879503637/dp/0879503637/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=

Swahili Resources: CONTEMPORARY

Assimil Le swahili (2011) / Le swahili sans peine (2004) by Racine-Issa, Odilev – Assimil Inc.
Although the Customer Reviews on Amazon.FR are not numerous, they are generally quite positive, as are the few references to this course on the HTLAL.
http://fr.assimil.com/methodes?base_language=0&learn_language=39&level=

DLI Headstart2 Swahili – U.S. Armed Forces Defense Language Institute
U.S. Armed Forces Swahili familiarization course.
http://hs2.dliflc.edu/

Living Language Spoken World Swahili (2007) - Random House
The Living Language “Spoken World” series of courses took the same approach as did this publisher’s “Ultimate” series. The former focused on the not-so-frequently studied languages and contained 6 CDs whereas the latter contained 8 CDs. Generally speaking, these courses have been very well-received on the HTLAL and by Amazon customers. Level upon completion would be CEFR A2+
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Living+Language+Spoken+World+Swahili

Pimsleur Swahili Level 1 – Simon & Schuster
https://www.pimsleur.com/learn-swahili

Routledge Colloquial Somali (2015) by Martin Orwin (later: Lutz Martin, Donovan Lee McGrath)
Generally speaking, this course has been very well-received.
https://www.amazon.com/Colloquial-Somali-Martin-Orwin/dp/1138949809/ref=sr_1_63?ie=UTF8&qid=1539737648&sr=8-63&keywords=swahili+language+learning
https://www.amazon.com/Colloquial-Swahili-Complete-Course-Beginners/dp/1138950173/ref=sr_1_141?ie=UTF8&qid=1539738400&sr=8-141&keywords=swahili+language+learning
https://www.amazon.com/Colloquial-Swahili-Complete-Course-Beginners/dp/0415221617/ref=sr_1_156?ie=UTF8&qid=1539738485&sr=8-156&keywords=swahili+language+learning

Teach Yourself Swahili (2012) by Joan Russell - Teach Yourself Books
There are a couple of editions of this work. For the most part, the Amazon Customer Reviews have been quite positive.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Swahili-Beginner-Intermediate-Course-ebook/dp/B0071M4S08/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1539654044&sr=8-8&keywords=swahili
https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Swahili-Two-Audio-CDs/dp/0071758836/ref=sr_1_121?ie=UTF8&qid=1539738308&sr=8-121&keywords=swahili+language+learning

U.S. Army Special Forces 200-Hour Familiarization Course: Swahili
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2744

Swahili Resources: SUPPLEMENTARY

DLI GLOSS Swahili – U.S. Armed Forces Defense Language Institute
U.S. Armed Forces files for reading/aural/oral practice in Swahili. At present, a total of 62 lessons ranging as high as Level 2+ are available.
https://gloss.dliflc.edu/

Glossika Swahili
These files are not a course per se. Rather, they are a set of 3,000 sentences using SRS techniques for increasing automaticity. It is assumed that the user already possesses a level of CEFR A2.
https://ai.glossika.com/language/learn-swahili

NFLC (National Foreign Language Center) Swahili files
The NFLC presently hosts a collection of 175 files (reading, listening, video) for the supplementary practice of Swahili at the intermediate level. Access to the files is subject to a monthly subscription of 5.00 $US which can be cancelled at any time.
http://portal.nflc.umd.edu/lessons/language/swahili

Online Resources: Innovative Language, Language Transfer, Swahili Pod101
Online, very basic introductions to Swahili words and phrases.
https://www.innovativelanguage.com/learn-swahili
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/innovativelanguagecom/learn-swahili-with-swahilipod101com
https://www.languagetransfer.org/

Swahili Learners' Reference Grammar (2001) by K.D.Thompson, A.F Schleicher– U.S. Department of Education
A 391-page reference grammar freely available on the U.S. Government’s ERIC website.
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=swahili&pg=4&id=ED455681

Swahili language and culture LINKS - lonweb
http://www.lonweb.org/link-swahili.htm

Links 4 Languages
https://sites.google.com/site/links4languages/swahili

Swahili Conversations
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&p=154016&sid=9019486ded4761148e22ccaad1db7b35#p154016
leosmith wrote:Per this thread, I have begun developing what is to be a set of at least 100 six minute passages in Tanzanian Swahili. As of this post, 18 are finished and 22 are in work. I expect to have 100 done by the end of January or so; I need them for myself by that time frame, so I am motivated to get it done :D

Each conversation has audio and a transcript. They are one-on-one conversations between native speakers; some are 2 males, some 2 females and some mixed. They are completely free and can be found here at Language Tools. You have to register to see them, but registration is free and easy. Karibuni sana!


EDITED:
Tinkering, formatting.
Ditto.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:16 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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dgc1970
White Belt
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:16 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Swahili Resources

Postby dgc1970 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:18 am

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Psusennes
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:29 pm
Languages: English

Re: Swahili Resources

Postby Psusennes » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:32 pm

I have a very specific question. I am looking to translate a Swahili name "Nurisha" into Arabic Swahili script . Wanting some resources for this since I am not sure how to translate the Roman back to the Arabic in terms of sound
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Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2354
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
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Re: Swahili Resources

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:36 am

Welcome to the forum! I look forward to your participation in the numerous discussions of all matters pertaining to language-learning. Now then, as to your question, there seem to be only two active members who are studying Swahili but who might not read this resources files: please refer to the “Discussion Threads” section in the original post, just below the brief description of the Swahili language.

One option that you might wish to consider is to click on the above links and pose your question to both members directly in their logs. Still, a quick at their respective Profiles suggests to me that, of the two, SGP would be in a better position to answer your question. Please note that he has merged the above log into his “multi-language learning log” to which he has provided a link. So then, it will be click … go to the bottom of the first log … click again … go to the next opportunity to post a comment. Good luck with your quest!
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Speakeasy
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2354
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 6206

Re: Swahili Resources

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:17 pm

Added to the list of SUPPLEMENTARY resources above (with many thanks to leosmith):

Swahili Conversations
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&p=154016&sid=9019486ded4761148e22ccaad1db7b35#p154016
leosmith wrote:Per this thread, I have begun developing what is to be a set of at least 100 six minute passages in Tanzanian Swahili. As of this post, 18 are finished and 22 are in work. I expect to have 100 done by the end of January or so; I need them for myself by that time frame, so I am motivated to get it done :D

Each conversation has audio and a transcript. They are one-on-one conversations between native speakers; some are 2 males, some 2 females and some mixed. They are completely free and can be found here at Language Tools. You have to register to see them, but registration is free and easy. Karibuni sana!
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